They’re still trying to scare us. Apparently, some people in our country just don’t like seeing businesses reopen, people unmasked, and a return to normalcy. So, as the threat to COVID largely dwindles, it should come as no surprise that the media is now pushing a new threat: the Delta variant.

Of course, the messaging is predictable:

    • More contagious (CNN)
    • Exploded in the UK (CNBC)
    • Worst and scariest variant yet (MSNBC)

It will be interesting to see how state and local governments across the country respond to this so-called “latest threat.” As you’ll recall, it didn’t go so well the first time around with most seizing the opportunity to abuse emergency powers, even here in Arizona. And although Arizona’s COVID response puts it ahead of most other states in the country, there’s still work to be done.

Thankfully, our state lawmakers haven’t ignored the problem. And with various provisions in a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills, they have taken important steps to protect Arizona from more COVID mandates and government overreach.

  1. SB1819

    Vaccines should always be voluntary and never be forced. SB1819 addresses this fundamental freedom by including a provision that amends the ability of the state to require vaccination during a public health emergency to allow for an individual to refuse vaccination based on their personal beliefs.

  2. SB1824

    Getting back to normal shouldn’t involve vaccine passports or requirements. But that hasn’t stopped the left from pushing this ridiculous concept to go back to our schools, to go back to our offices, or to enjoy the freedoms we should already have access to as American citizens. SB1824 takes this head on.

    Section 12 states that vaccines with an emergency use authorization are not allowed to be required for in-person attendance at K-12 schools. Only after a vaccine has been prescribed by an Arizona Department of Health Services rule can it then be required for in-person attendance at K-12 schools.

    Section 3 requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation to an employee whose religious beliefs prevent them from getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

    And section 13 prohibits the state and any city, town, or county from establishing a COVID vaccine passport, requiring a COVID vaccine, or requiring businesses to obtain proof of vaccination status from customers.

  3. SB1825

    Just like K-12 students, university students shouldn’t be required to get COVID vaccines. But Arizona State University (ASU) certainly tried. In June, Dr. Joanne Vogel, ASU’s Vice President of Student Services, announced that students who have not received a COVID vaccine would be subjected to daily health checks, testing twice a week, and mandatory face mask use.

    Governor Ducey responded swiftly, issuing an executive order that banned Arizona’s universities and community colleges from mandating students to show proof of their COVID vaccination status or be forced to wear masks to participate in learning.

    A provision in SB1825 codifies Governor Ducey’s executive order, prohibiting universities from requiring COVID vaccines for attendance and from placing any conditions on attendance or participation based on a lack of vaccination.

  4. HB2898

    Although they’ve been nothing but divisive and lack any data to back them up, the left LOVES mask mandates, especially in our schools. That’s what makes a provision in HB2898 particularly fun.

    Section 12 prohibits a city, town, county, school board, or charter school governing body from requiring students or teachers to wear masks. Additionally, it prohibits a school board or charter governing board from requiring COVID vaccines in order to participate in person. (Can you feel the teachers’ unions squirm?)

There’s no doubt that COVID was an issue that warranted some action. But it never should have included trampling on the rights of the people. As the corporate media ramps up its scare tactics with new COVID variants, we cannot make the same mistakes. The government cannot be allowed to overstep its bounds. Thankfully, Arizona’s lawmakers recognize that. And now they’ve taken steps in the right direction to prevent more COVID overreach.

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